News Release

Survey Indicates Saving Energy Important to U of M Crookston Campus Community; Campus Energy Challenge Kick-off to Raise Awareness and Reduce Energy Consumption

By ltollefs on
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Committed to saving energy, the University of Minnesota, Crookston campus will kick-off the Campus Energy Challenge on Tuesday, January 26, 2010, in an effort to raise awareness and educate the campus community on how to increase energy savings. In this first-of-its-kind program, the U of M, Crookston, will work with Otter Tail Power Company to reduce electric energy consumption on campus by as much as 15 percent.

A sustainability survey sent to students, faculty, and staff at the University of Minnesota, Crookston in December 2009 confirms energy saving is important to the campus.  Climate change was definitely on the minds of respondents as 86 percent say that climates or regions around the world are changing. In response to a question should the campus be "using energy efficient technology on the campus as much as possible," 219 of 256 respondents ranked it as important to very important. And 216 respondents said it was important or very important that the campus "take active steps to decrease energy consumption. The sustainability survey was developed by Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) And will be followed by a survey specific to energy saving behaviors and motivations, which students, faculty, and staff will receive on January 18.

"The kickoff is most timely on the heels of the U.N. Conference on Climate Change staged in Copenhagen during December," notes Dan Svedarsky, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sustainability at the U of M, Crookston, who represented The Wildlife Society at the conference. "At that meeting delegates from around the world gathered to discuss preventative and adaptation strategies. It provides a global context for these all-important local actions."

The Campus Energy Challenge kick-off includes several entertaining activities related to energy savings. Green Walking," sponsored by (CSSD) and hosted by Senior Elizabeth Kern will ask students random questions about energy use practices and energy savings. In the evening, Student Programming and Activities for Campus Entertainment (SPACE) will join CSSD to host "Flip It Off: Save your energy for later" featuring competitions geared to educate students about the Campus Energy Challenge and energy use in general. Students will contend for cash and door prizes provided by Otter Tail Power Company.

Along with these activities, CSSD is sponsoring RecycleMania beginning January 18.  A competition between colleges and universities to recycle as much as possible over the course of a 10 week period, RecycleMania is a trademarked program of the RecycleMania Steering Committee in coordination with the College and University Recycling Council (CURC).

The Campus Energy Challenge is a pilot project that is part of Otter Tail Power Company's Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program approved by the Minnesota Office of Energy Security in November 2008. Together, Otter Tail Power Company and the U of M, Crookston, will work to nurture and develop energy efficiency habits that will help everyone on campus save money on their energy bills and model those habits to the Crookston community, other campuses, and the country.

Otter Tail Power Company, a subsidiary of Otter Tail Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select Market: OTTR), is headquartered in Fergus Falls, Minn. It provides electricity and energy services to more than a quarter million people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. To learn more about Otter Tail Power Company visit www.otpco.com. To learn more about conserving energy visit www.conservingelectricity.com. To learn more about Otter Tail Corporation, visit www.ottertail.com.

Program Management for RecycleMania is provided by Keep America Beautiful in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program. RecycleMania is made possible through the sponsorship support of The Coca Cola Company, American Forest & Paper Association and Keep America Beautiful. For more information, visit www.recyclemania.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.

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